How do I get my dads name off of my mother’s estate?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

My mom is gonna pass away soon and my dads name is still on the title, he hasn’t been around in 20 years. He didn’t have much to do with the payoff at all. I don’t know where he is to ask him to sign the paperwork for my mother

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS-BELIVEAU:

I am sorry for your loss. If your parents had divorced, the property division should have been addressed in the divorce decree.  Unfortunately, if your parents did not divorce, your father will become the sole owner of the property if he owns the property jointly with your mother. You can hire an heir search firm to track down your father. Perhaps he has already passed away, in which case filing a death certificate at the registry of deeds will clear your father’s name from the title.
[Read more…]

Can we take action to immediately change locks and take possession of property and all remaining content?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

My sister and her husband moved into the family home place after our parents passed… About 3 months ago my sister passed, her husband eventually moved back into his original home , but left lots of his “junk” behind…saying at some point he may return and clean it up. he has the only keys to the property. what legal rights do we have as far as,Immediately having all locks changed and demanding he remove ALL his belongings,and we take total repossession of our property? [Read more…]

Center for Medicare Advocacy Has a New Observation Status Toolkit

Medicare-eligible patients may find themselves in the hospital, receiving medical services, tests, and treatment, sometimes for many days, but find out too late that they are considered outpatients, in Observation Status, not admitted inpatients. Observation status continues to harm Medicare beneficiaries and their families. With generous support from the John A. Hartford Foundation, the Center for Medicare Advocacy has put together an Observation Status Toolkit that can be used by patients and their advocates. This information is provided to help you understand and respond to an “outpatient” Observation Status designation.

Click here for toolkit.

Tips are considered wages, court decides

Employers in the service industry should consult with an employment lawyer before requiring workers to pool their tips. That’s because the laws regarding tip pooling can be complex and employers who engage in certain tip-pooling practices run the risk of violating the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and state wage laws.

This happened recently in South Carolina. Zen 333, a restaurant in Charleston, didn’t allow bartenders or wait staff to take tips directly from customers. Instead they had to put them into a tip pool that was divided among the staff. Servers also had to contribute 4.5 percent of their gross food and alcohol sales directly to “the house” and 3.5 percent of their alcohol sales to the bartenders, who in turn had to contribute a percentage of their alcohol sales to “the house.” According to bartenders and waiters, the restaurant’s owners would withdraw these mandatory contributions from the tip pool and if the cash tips didn’t cover those contributions they’d take the difference from credit-card tips.

The bartenders, who were paid $40 plus tips for all shifts worked, and the servers, who were paid $2.25 an hour plus tips, took the restaurant to court, claiming that this practice violated FLSA and the state wage law because it resulted in them not being paid the wages they earned. [Read more…]

Employers take note: ‘Hostile environment’ claims can be costly

A “hostile” work environment is one where an employee is constantly confronted with offensive behavior by co-workers or supervisors. This can include sexually charged or bigoted comments and jokes, repeated requests to engage in sexual activity, taunting, or insulting personal comments. An employer that doesn’t properly investigate workers’ complaints of a hostile environment , or that investigates but fails to take proper action in response, can face discrimination and sexual harassment claims, as Kansas City, Missouri recently found out.

In that case, LaDonna Nunley, an African-American woman who had worked as a chemist for Kansas City’s water department for 24 years, claimed that a co-worker had engaged in a pervasive pattern of offensive speech directed toward her, including comments referencing genitalia and comments comparing President Barack Obama to a bowel movement. She said she reported the comments to supervisors but they failed to discipline the co-worker.

Ultimately Nunley, who also claimed that she was passed over for promotions in favor of less qualified, younger white workers, brought age, sex and race discrimination claims against the city along with a claim of hostile work environment. [Read more…]

Signature not enough to bind worker to arbitration clause

Mandatory arbitration agreements, which require employers and employees to forego court if they get into a legal dispute with one another and take the case to a private third-party arbitrator to resolve, are a popular way for employers to avoid the unpredictability and expense of the court system.

But if you plan on subjecting workers to such agreements, it’s critical to give actual notice of the terms, as a restaurant in North Carolina recently learned.

In that case, two white employees who worked under a Latino supervisor alleged that he often made racist remarks to them, saying among other things that because they weren’t Hispanic, they couldn’t relate to customers or co-workers or handle day-to-day situations. [Read more…]

Disabled workers may need accommodations beyond FMLA leave

Under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), companies with more than 50 employees must allow workers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to deal with medical issues. But if a worker isn’t ready to return after 12 weeks, employers should talk to an employment attorney before taking any disciplinary action. That’s because an employee who’s used all of his or her FMLA leave may still be entitled to more leave time as an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

In a recent Massachusetts case, bank employee Amanda LePete took 12 weeks of FMLA leave when she had a baby. While she was out she developed post-partum depression. As her return date approached she was still suffering symptoms so she sought medical help and tried to extend her leave. When her counselor couldn’t pin down a specific date when she might be able to return the bank sent her a letter setting a hard deadline, telling her she’d be fired if she didn’t return on that date. Panicked, she and her attorney appealed to human resources to extend her leave but the request was denied. She subsequently got a letter telling her she was fired.

LaPete filed a disability discrimination claim against the bank under the ADA and state anti-discrimination law. [Read more…]

When is employee travel time compensable?

If you’re a “non-exempt” employee — typically someone who doesn’t work in a professional, executive or managerial capacity and who earns an hourly wage — your compensation structure is pretty simple. Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) you get paid for the hours you work and if you put in more than 40 hours in a week, you get overtime.

But what about time you spend traveling for work? That seems simple too. You don’t get paid for commuting time to and from work. But you do get paid for time you spend traveling around during the workday.

This seems straightforward on the surface. But there are little wrinkles and nuances that workers and employers need to understand. [Read more…]

Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) Information for 2018

Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 66 million Americans will increase 2.0 percent in 2018. The 2.0 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 61 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2018. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 29, 2017.

To read more about COLA, click here.

If I find out 25 years later I have a daughter?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

I was just contacted by a old girlfriend that her 25years old daughter is mine. I will be willing to take a dna, but I have all kinds of worries, I’m married and have other children, if she is my daughter what it the law states I have to give to her. Can actually take a legal matter for depriving me with my parental rights.  what can they possible want after 25 years.?

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS-BELIVEAU:

This could be spurred by the fact that your daughter just wants to know her father. If they are asking for back child support, they could force you to take a DNA test. Most likely you are past the statute of limitations, but a family law attorney should verify that. This is not a guardianship issue because the daughter is over 18. If she is your daughter, she is your heir. You may wish to consult with an estate planning attorney because you may want to specifically disinherit her.

Legal Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. A lawyer experienced in the subject area and licensed to practice in the jurisdiction should be consulted for legal advice.

Beliveau Law Group: Massachusetts | Florida | New Hampshire

The estate planning attorneys at the Beliveau Law Group provide legal services for estate and asset protection planning. The law firm has offices and attorneys in Naples, Florida; Waltham, Massachusetts; and Salem, New Hampshire.